I have had many breeds of dogs in my life from many walks of life. From different ages to adopted to fresh from the breeder to different genders. You name it I have experienced it. The other day I was having a conversation with my friends about how James and I are interested in getting a pug from a breeder.

I received Lucy at 8 weeks old on my 16th birthday. She was a full breed pug from a family of show dogs. Living a full 16 years with her and being a part of every milestone, personality quirk and health issue, really gave me the full, full breed experience.

Then there was Tyler who came into our life approximately 5 years ago and we are guessing he is a Puggle-ish mix. Read all about Tyler’s story here. There have been several differences in how we are raise and handle our full breed pug compared to our older mix.

Adopting a Shelter or Rescue Dog
The stigma that all rescue/shelter dogs have behavioral issues is a bit extreme. Most dogs are because of people moving or their owners passing. We are Tyler’s 4th owners but we are his forever home and we learned some lessons starting off with an older dog who has lived half of his life without us. There was a lot to learn but it was worth every minute to make him welcome in our home. Here are some pros and cons for adopting…


You are helping two lives. The one you are adopting and opening space for the next pup in need.

  • A majority of dogs will already be a microchip and spay/neutered.
  • If you adopt from a rescue group (There are tons on Instagram I like to follow. Currently I stalk the Mid-Atlantic Pug Rescue.) they will be able to tell you all about the dog’s personality and quirks so there are no surprises when you bring your pup home.
  • Most adult dogs are already potty-trained, like Tyler was, so you are saving yourself quite the headache.
  • To me this one is a big one. Mixed breed dogs tend to have less inherited genetic health problems. I have seen this with many mixes I have had in my life. The one thing we did do with Tyler for preventative measures was have him start taking Cosequin DS Plus MSM Joint Health Supplement for Dogs we got a BJ’s Wholesale Club since he was on the older end when we received him. Also, one thing most people forget about is a dog’s dental health and, I must admit, we struggle with being consistent with, but we did find EZ Dog Small Breed Toothbrush Kit at BJs. You can hop BJ’s online. I can purchase all our favorites for our babies without having to move them off my lap.
  • The love you receive as what I look at as a “…thank you,” from your rescue will be like something you have never felt before.


  • If adopting a dog straight from a shelter, you may not know much about how they will act in your home. It is very important to know how to pick the right shelter dog.
  • You may not know exactly what breed the dog you pick is mixed with, although there are many purebred dogs in shelters. So make sure to do the research on the breeds they are mixed with. We were lucky enough that we had pug experience.
  • The cost of adopting from a shelter is much lower than the cost of purchasing a newborn from a breeder.

Buying a Puppy from a Breeder
If you are considering buying a puppy from a breeder, it is important to choose the right breeder. You need to be sure that your entire family is prepared for the approximately 15 year responsibility of raising a new family member. Do your research on the breeder, and most importantly, if you are new to the breed do your research on the quirks of each breed.

The Benefits:

  • You will be able to see your puppy’s mother and see the environment they were raised in.
  • Reputable breeders will provide genetic health testing to make sure your dog is not likely to carry any inherited genetic problems and some will even make sure they are chipped and get their first shots!
  • You will have the opportunity to mold your puppy into the ideal pet for you and your family.
  • Make sure you stock up on all the essentials and get them started early like Frontline Plus for Small Dogs I found at BJs. You can also find other essentials at amazing prices and in bulk on BJ’s App, my favorite place to shop their products.

The Challenges:

  • There are millions of dogs dying in shelters each year. Rescuing a dog will save one of those lives. Personally there is some guilt I feel when buying versus adopting and that is why we strive to own both.
  • Puppies are a ton of work.
  • You are responsible for training your puppy and if you don’t do your research I suggest taking them to puppy school.
  • Purebred dogs tend to have more health problems. This is definitely true when I compare Lucy to Tyler.
  • Buying a puppy from a breeder is very expensive.

This post was sponsored by BJ’s Wholesale. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep ALP’s doors open.


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